Published: 2017-11-10 11:39
Last Updated: 2017-11-10 14:13
The United States has spent over $5 trillion in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan since 2001, according to a new study.
The news comes from Brown University's Cost of War analysis, which estimated that the cost of U.S. wars between 2001 and 2018 amounted to about $23,386 per individual American taxpayer.
The report also found that the U.S. has spent $880 billion in defense spending in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan in the past 16 years. An additional $780 billion was spent on Homeland Security over the same period.
The total figure amounts to $5.6 trillion including this year's estimates, exposing a substantial gap between the figures reported to the American public and the actual amount taxpayer’s have spent on foreign conflicts.
Moreover, the study notes that spending on veterans benefits has increased by nearly $300 billion since 2001 due to those wars.
However, despite the shocking figures, the Brown study notes that its “estimate is also conservative,”
Neta Crawford, author of the report, also predicted that the costs could rise over the coming years under the leadership of Donald Trump. “There is no end in sight to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and the associated operations in Pakistan,” Crawford noted.
Officials have already $70 billion more in overseas contingency spending in next year’s budget.
“Every war costs money before, during and after it occurs — as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from armed conflict by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing infrastructure destroyed in the fighting,” Crawford added.